Secaucus to close COVID-19 vaccine clinics

Grant funds have run dry and new vaccinations have slowed

The town shifted their vaccine site between the rec center on Koelle Boulevard and Town Hall on Paterson Plank Road.

Secaucus will close its municipal-run COVID-19 vaccination clinics at the end of June.

Currently, the Secaucus Health Department continues to hold vaccine clinics every Monday afternoon from 3 to 5 p.m. on the first floor of Town Hall at 1203 Paterson Plank Road. No appointments are needed, and walk-ins are welcome.

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Those who wish to receive their vaccine through the town are strongly encouraged to use any of the Health Department’s clinics. For residents wishing to receive their second dose at the clinics, the final day to receive the first dose was June 6.

While the vaccine clinic continues to offer second shots as well as booster doses, the clinic’s last day of operation will take place on the last Monday of June. Upcoming clinic dates include June 13 and June 20, as well as the last vaccine clinic on June 27.

Town is highly vaccinated

Jeffas said the reason for the town ceasing the municipal vaccine clinics was two-fold. One part of it was because of the grant from the state used to fund the clinics has run dry.

“The grant we had from the state finishes up on June 30,” Jeffas said. “Those grant funds were utilized for the vaccination clinics.”

In addition to the grant funding ending, another reason for the ending of operations was because the amount of people seeking vaccinations had dropped.

“It is also due to a reduced demand,” Jeffas said. “We could have applied for the grant to continue, but we really could not justify the manpower and the hours. We’re down to one vaccination day per week right now, only for a couple of hours. The widespread availability of the vaccines, and the lessening number of people coming to our site, coupled with the grant period coming to end, brought us to the culmination of our clinics.”

Demand may be low because Secaucus touts a high vaccination rate.

“So at this point a lot of people are fully vaccinated at least, and probably boosted,” Jeffas said. “I believe we’re well into the 90 percentile in almost every category. It seems that our vaccination site has met all of our goals and exceeded them. Our numbers are down, and I think that’s a testament to how many people came to the site and actually got themselves fully vaccinated.”

Vaccines availability widespread

There is no plan to resume municipal vaccinations in the future, barring any worst case scenario when it comes to vaccine availability.

“If there was an extreme need in the future, the town is not shutting the door on reopening a municipal site,” Jeffas said. “But due to the widespread availability of the vaccine at local pharmacies, it is unlikely but not off the table.”

According to Jeffas, the town can step in and set up another municipal vaccination site to hold clinics if need be.

“At this point in time, there is no plan to get the site back up,” Jeffas said. “If something really changed for the worse, whether it be the lack of vaccines and lack of the availability to get them elsewhere, I would imagine that would be a possibility. But based on the way the vaccines are now, the availability to get them through so many sources, I don’t foresee that happening.

“Obviously, if something happened like in the beginning, where things got really bad, we would do what we can to help out our residents. But the way things are now, I think there’s been a change for the good, good in the sense that people can get vaccines from pharmacies of doctor’s offices, or other clinics and opportunities of that nature.”

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.